How to Fix a Clogged Drain Without Drano

Drano or another chemical solvent is often the first thing you turn to when your drains get clogged. You pour it in, wait 15 minutes, and then…nothing. The clog is still there. While Drano can effectively dissolve some types of clogs, it can’t get rid of them all. That doesn’t mean you’re left high and dry, though. 

If Drano has failed you, you can always call in One Source Home Service as your plumber in Colorado Springs. If you’re not ready to take that step, though, there are a few other things you can try first. 

Be careful with these! You don’t want to damage your pipes and require further plumbing repair in Colorado Springs. 

Old Wive’s Tales?

This may sound crazy, but it actually works on some clogs. Get all of the extra water out of your drain, then pour about 1 cup of baking soda down the drain, followed by 1 cup of vinegar. Let it sit in your clogged drain for at least 30 but up to 60 minutes. When you’re ready to try your drain again, run warm water into it. You may be surprised to find that it’s opened up! Sometimes, this combination can get through clogs that Drano can’t touch!

cleaning clogged drains without drano

Plunge Right In

Plungers aren’t just good for toilets. They can work on any drain. In fact, you can now buy plungers specifically intended for use on other drains. Just make sure the plunger makes a full seal around the clogged drain, then move it as you usually would. It might take a couple of tries but you might be able to move the clog or break it up enough that it can move when you run water down the drain again. 

Try a Snake

If nothing else works, consider using a plumbing snake on the drain. You may want to call a plumber in Colorado Springs to do this, or you can rent one and try it for yourself. A plumbing snake is a long, flexible metal tube with a point or a hook on the end. You can thread it through your pipes and try to remove or break up your clog. 

Just make sure you don’t get it stuck! This can cause further damage and require even more drain repair in Colorado Springs. 

If you’d like help with your plumbing repair in Colorado Springs, call us at One Source Home Service today!

Choosing Between Tankless vs. Tank Water Heaters

tankless wate heater repair in colorado springs

There are many types of water heaters available on the market today. Conventional, or tank water heaters, hold all of your hot water in a tank. The system works hard to keep this water hot so it is available whenever you need it.

Tankless water heaters are newer and they don’t store water. Instead, they heat the water as it is needed. This can save energy and money because the system isn’t constantly heating water. However, these water heaters cost more to install and may not be the best option for some homes. 

Traditional Water Heaters

Benefits of traditional tank water heaters

They cost less. A tank water heater costs less to install upfront and it is a simpler system, so repairs are less complex and generally less expensive. 
They are typically easier to install. Most homes are already set up for traditional water heater installation, whereas tankless water heater installation may require some repiping by a professional plumber.
They provide hot water fast. Conventional water heaters store water and keep it warm, so when it gets to your faucet the water is already warm.

Disadvantages of traditional water heaters

They cost more to use. Because they are constantly heating water to whatever temperature you have set, they are constantly using energy.
They take up more space. Although most homes are already built for conventional water heaters, they can take up a lot more space than their tankless counter part.
Most tank water heaters only have enough hot water for about three showers. If you need more hot water than that, you will either have to wait or make do with cold water instead!

Tankless Water Heaters

Benefits of tankless water heaters

They last longer. Tankless water heaters last 20-30 years, which is twice the average lifespan of a conventional water heater.
They more energy efficient. Installing a tankless water heater can reduce energy costs by up to 25%, so they cost less to operate and can pay for themselves over time.
They are smaller. Tankless water heaters take up much less space and are typically mounted to a wall or pipe. This is perfect for tiny homes and studio apartments!

Disadvantages of tankless water heaters

They are expensive. Tankless water heater units can cost up to 5 times more than conventional water heaters, repairs and installation are generally more complex and therefore cost more.
They may require repiping to install. Because most homes are set up for traditional water heaters, a professional plumber may need to move around some pipes to properly install.
You may have to wait for hot water. Tankless water heaters work on an “on demand” system, which is what makes them energy efficient. So you may have to wait to get the temperature to your liking.
Some of them can fail to produce enough hot water, especially if you’re using a lot across several systems at once, like taking a shower while someone washes dishes and you’re running your washing machine.

Get Your New Hot Water Heater Today!

In the end, only you can decide which type of water heater is right for you. If you choose a tankless water heater system, we’ll recommend models that we trust in our own home, get everything modified for the installation, and have your hot water back on ASAP. 

Call our Colorado Springs plumbing team at One Source Home Service today! We’ll help you get the perfect new hot water heater for your home. Whether you choose a tank or a tankless water heater, we’ll make sure you have hot water again fast!

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3 Common Causes of Burst Pipes

Burst pipes are an unpleasant experience, causing water to leak out into your yard or home and increasing your bills. Sometimes, you may only notice some reduced water pressure, but this can still indicate a leak that is slowly damaging the foundation of your home and collecting dangerous mold and mildew. When there are major problems with your plumbing system, you want to stay informed about the cause so you can work towards a solution. While you should call for plumbing repair right away, we’ve made a list of a few of the most common causes of burst water pipes.

Common Causes of Burst Pipes

burst pipe colorado springs
  • Tree Roots: This is perhaps the most surprising reason for burst pipes, but also one of the most common causes. Roots grow naturally in the direction of a source of water. A weak point in the water line or a loose connecting point may be the perfect target for tree roots, which can wrap around the pipes until they burst.
  • Corrosion: Sometimes, an older pipe may simply burst because of corrosion. Outdated materials such as steel are a common cause for this, though homes built after 1970 usually do not have to deal with this problem. If this is the case, replacement is your best option. The best way to learn about the state of your pipes is by calling for regular plumbing maintenance every year to ensure your pipes are not at risk.
  • Collapsed Pipe: Pipes may collapse due to environmental changes. Construction near your home, for example, may cause the soil to shift around to the point that the increased weight upon your pipes forces it to give in and rupture. If major construction happens near your home, you may want to inform the workers of the location of your water and sewer lines.

Call for Plumbing Repair in Colorado Springs

When you need plumbing repair in Colorado Springs, or the surrounding areas, call the friendly professionals at One Source Home Services. We know how to take care of the most common sources of burst pipes and will locate and repair problems as quickly and thoroughly as possible. We’re also available for maintenance visits when you want someone to look over your entire plumbing system and keep pipes from bursting in the future. Call us today to schedule service.

3 Things That Can Cause Your Water Heater to Burst

According to the Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety, a ruptured water tank is one of the top five causes of residential water damage. These incidents cost an average of $4,444 after the deductible is paid. A ruptured water heater may not be one of your top concerns, but it is actually one of the most common types of system failure. Is your hot water heater at risk of bursting? Here are three things that could cause your water heater to burst.

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Sediment Build Up

burst water heater colorado springs

Over time, minerals from hard water build up and settle in the bottom of your water heater tank. This sediment insulates the water from the burner or heating element, forcing it to work harder to heat the water. This often results in overheating that can deteriorate the tank.

If your water heater makes a knocking or popping sound, you have a sediment problem. Prevent this issue by scheduling annual water heater maintenance to drain and flush your hot water heater tank.

Rust Corrosion

Conventional water heater tanks are made of steel, and steel eventually rusts. While water heaters feature a sacrificial anode rod that helps protect the system from rust, these rods eventually deteriorate. When that happens, the tank starts to rust soon after.

If your hot water has a brownish tint, the tank is likely rusting on the inside. Pay attention to the anode rod, and replace it if it becomes too worn down. Inspect the tank regularly for external rust, and look for small leaks that could indicate pinholes.

Excessive Internal Pressure

If too much pressure builds up inside your water heater, it will eventually burst. Water heaters feature a temperature and pressure relief valve, but over the years, the pressure can still wear down your tank. If the T&P valve frequently opens or starts leaking, you likely have a pressure problem. Pressure tends to build when the temperature is set too high, so make sure your water heater is only set to 120 – 125 degrees.

Water Heater Repair and Replacement in Colorado Springs

A burst water tank is a plumbing nightmare that no homeowner wants to face. Since most people don’t give their water heaters much thought, though it’s a fairly common problem. If you need water heater repairs in Colorado Springs, or a brand new water heater call One Source for help. Our Colorado Springs plumbing experts can guide you through what water heater repairs you need, or finding a water heater replacement that will suite your homes’ needs best, order it, and install it. Contact us a One Source Home Service today.

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Water Leak Detection

Water leaks can cause major damage to you property when left unchecked, but not all leaks are noticeable at first. It is important to keep track of your water usage, as this is a good way to check for potential leaks. Read on to learn more about what to do if you think you may have a water leak and common homeowner issues that make leaks more likely.

What to Do If You Suspect You Have A Water Leak

  1. If you suspect a leak, monitor your home’s water meter!
  2. Turn off all water in your home including the washing machine and dishwasher.
  3. Check the water meter and make a note of the numbers.
  4. Wait an hour and check again. If the numbers have changed, there’s a leak somewhere.
  5. Call a professional plumber if you believe you have a water leak. Leaks cause costly damage as well as health concerns.
Leak detection and plumbing work in Colorado Springs, CO

5 Most Common House Problems

Homeowners across the US and Canada have been surveyed by the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors, and the most common problems have been identified. If you own your home, you may want to take a look to see if these problems affect your home. While some of these common problems may seem just annoying on the surface if left untreated serious damage and risk may result. Check out 5 of the most common house problems here and have a professional take a look if you identify any of them on your property.

1. Improper Surface Grading/Drainage

This was by far the most frequently found problem. As reported by 35.8% of the survey respondents, this was the most frequent problem found. If you notice that your property slopes down toward your home, there is a huge risk of water creeping into your basement or crawlspace. This can lead to foundation damage and costly water damage.

2. Improper Electrical Wiring

Almost 20% of those surveyed (19.9%) choosing improper electrical wiring as a problem, which’s a significant result. Does your home have sufficient electrical service to cover your electrical usage? Do your breakers keep tripping? Do you have any visible and amateur wiring present? Ask a professional electrician to investigate. Loose wiring, inadequate overload protection, and improper connections can cause danger to household members and have the potential to start a devastating fire.

3. Roof Damage

While only 8.5% of respondents noted roof damage as a problem, a leaky roof is a big deal! Whether you have a few damaged shingles, improper flashing or your roof is ancient and weathered, water leading into your home, onto your furniture, and down walls, can cause significant damage and if untreated, can lead to mold growth. Have a professional roofer repair or replace your roof to ensure a sound indoor environment for your family.

4. AC & Heating Systems

Does your home have broken or malfunctioning operation controls, blocked chimneys, and unsafe exhaust disposal? In addition to messing with your home’s comfort and convenience settings, you could eventually experience dangerous levels of toxins in the air that you breathe. Have an HVAC professional investigate all heating, cooling, and ductwork issues and resolve them quickly for improved comfort and safety.

5. Poor Overall Maintenance

Home maintenance can be overwhelming, especially if problems are left to fester over time so that issues pile up. Can you detect cracked, peeling, and dirty painted surfaces, crumbling masonry, makeshift wiring and plumbing, and broken fixtures and appliances in your home? Don’t let the jobs pile up. If an appliance breaks down, have it repaired. If the railing on your front porch is wobbly, have it fixed. Some of these jobs, such as painting and cleaning, you may choose to do yourself. Or, you may prefer to find a trusted handyman. When it comes to plumbing, electrical, or HVAC concerns, always trust a professional. They are licensed, trained, and can be trusted to fix the problem right – the first time.

Call One Source for Professional Leak Detection

Plumbing leaks can lead to thousands of dollars in water damage to your property. If you suspect that you have a plumbing leak or burst pipe follow the steps at the top of this article and be sure to call your trusted plumbing company for plumbing repair ASAP. At One Source Homes Service we provide emergency plumbing in Colorado Springs for situations that just can’t wait for regular business hours. Give us a call for leak repair in Colorado Springs

Frequently Asked Questions About Plumber’s Putty

plumbing near me

Do you need to make a watertight seal somewhere in your home? Then plumber’s putty may be the solution you’ve been looking for.

Here’s what you need to know about how to use plumber’s putty before you decide whether or not it is right for your home. If you want to use it but you’re not comfortable applying it yourself, call us at One Source Home Service today. We are your plumber in Colorado Springs and we’ll get everything sealed for you fast.

Frequently Asked Questions about Plumber’s Putty!

Here’s 7 Quick Tips To Save Money And Use Less Water…

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You already know how important it is that we all try to reduce our use of water. Our planet’s future depends on it! And, there are so many practical and surprisingly easy ways for us to do that. 

So, here are seven really practical ways for you to conserve water in your home…

  1. Monitor your water bills
    Check your water bill each month and if it goes up try to figure out if there’s a good reason (filling the swimming pool). If it spikes and you don’t know why, you probably have a leak somewhere. Seriously, the average home wastes more than 10,000 gallons of water a year from easily fixable plumbing leaks. It’s worth it to bring in a plumber if you suspect you have a leak but cannot find
    it.
  2. Use the water meter to check for hidden water leaks
    Go read your water meter and write down the number. Stop using water for two hours. Then go back to the meter. If it’s not at the exact same number, there’s a water leak in your house. If you can’t find it, call your home services company to send out a plumber.
  3. Use every drop
    Find ways to repurpose water so it doesn’t just go down the drain. For example, when you boil potatoes or pasta, pour that water through a colander and into another pot to capture the hot water. After it’s cooled, this water can be used for your household plants. You can do something similar whenever you run the tap and wait for hot water.
  4. Use your dishwasher more
    You might be surprised, but as it turns out washing dishes by hand uses a lot more water than running the dishwasher, and even more so if you have a newer more water-efficient model. Newer dishwashers will also adjust to use less water for smaller loads. (If you don’t have a newer dishwasher, see #7.)
  5. Run full loads in your washing machine
    You can adjust water levels to match the size of your load, but it’s even more water-efficient to run larger loads in your washing machine.
  6. Cover your swimming pool
    It takes a lot of water to fill your swimming pool and to keep it filled. In the summer sun, pools can lose an inch or more of water each week to evaporation. Getting a cover for your pool can save thousands of gallons of water each season. Make it a solar blanket and you can also reduce your heating cost. But this only works if you’re diligent about covering the pool when it’s not in use.
  7. Install a new dishwasher
    Newer dishwashers use as little as four to seven gallons per load—again that’s a lot less than
    washing by hand and much less than older dishwashers.

Summary

If we all work on conserving water, we can make a big difference. While taking these practical steps, be sure to contact a home services company if you need help finding a water leak or installing a new dishwasher.

7 Practical Ways to Conserve Water at Home

a shower for running outdoors

In America we’re used to have running water readily available and in seemingly endless supply, but the long-running drought in California and water restrictions in western states should tell us otherwise. There is a finite supply of water and though water is a renewable resource the amount of clean drinking water is declining. We can all help out by using less water (and paying less). These seven ways to conserve water at home are very practical and some are surprisingly easy.

1. Turn off faucets

How often do you let faucet water run needlessly as you wash or rinse dishes, wash your hands or face, brush your teeth or shave? Your bathroom faucet runs at about two gallons of water per minute. Turn off that tap while you brush your teeth and shave, and you’ll save hundreds of gallons a month.

2. Shorten showers

An older showerhead can put out as much as 5 gallons of water per minute. Install a new low-flow showerhead to bring that down to 2.5 gallons and then cut your shower time in half and you will have reduced your shower water use by 75 percent!

3. Fix leaks

Even a slow drip from a leaking faucet can waste as much as 20 gallons of water a day. A leaking toilet can waste 200 gallons a day! (To check your toilet for a leak, put several drops of food coloring in the tank. If that color shows up in the bowl without flushing, you have a leak.)

4. Go to a car wash

Instead of washing your car at home with the hose, go to a gas station car wash that will use less water and recycle it.

5. Install low-flow or dual-flush toilet

Replace an old toilet with a new ultra-low volume (ULV) 1.6 gallon flush toilet to use up to 70 percent less water. That could reduce your total indoor water use by 30 percent! Another option is a dual-flush toilet that could use as little as 1 gallon for the low-level flush.

6. Replace your old water heater with a tankless hot water heater

A tankless water heater only heats water when you need it. And when you need hot water, the supply is ongoing… so no more worrying about being the last one to take a morning shower. You’ll save about $80 a year in water heating bills.

7. Upgrade to a High Efficiency (HE) washing machine

Today HE washing machines use as little as 7 gallons per load. That’s a lot less than your old washing machine that could be using up to 54 gallons! Newer Energy Star-rated washers use less water and 50 percent less energy.

Summary

None of these are particularly hard to do, but act on a few of them (or all of them) and you could conserve a lot of water—and lower your monthly bills. Some of these are do-it-yourself projects, but a home services company could help you with any of these projects that require a professional.

Flushable Wipes and 7 Other Things You Should Never Flush Down The Toilet

Ask any plumber and they will tell you that people often flush things down the toilet that really should not be flushed. They’ve cleared enough clogs from toilet drain pipes to know the worst things that people flush. Save yourself the plumbing bill by never flushing any of the following things down your toilet.

Wet wipes

Baby wipes, wet wipes, and cleaning wipes are often marketed as “flushable” wipes, but many of them are only flushable in the same way that a t-shirt or towel is flushable. Yeah, maybe you can flush them, but they are going to cause clogs, if not in your drain pipe, then in the sewer line or at your municipal wastewater treatment plant. Many wipes simply do not disintegrate quickly enough to prevent clogs and backed-up sewer lines.

7 other things you should never flush

In addition to “flushable” wipes, here’s other things you should never flush down the toilet.

plumbing repair colorado springs
  1. Paper Towels: After wiping up a mess in the bathroom, tossing a paper towel in the toilet might seem like an easy way to get rid of it. But consider those paper towel commercials that boast about how strong and absorbent their paper towels are. There’s your top two reasons not to flush them!
  2. Feminine hygiene products: Would you believe there’s a good reason why public bathrooms often have signs telling you not to flush feminine hygiene products down the toilet? Tampons and pads are designed to be ultra-absorbent and they expand as they get wet. You don’t want them expanding in your drain pipe.
  3. Condoms: Condoms are what plumbers least like to pull out of the toilet drain. Latex prophylactics take years to degrade and even if they get through your drain pipe, they will cause issues in your city’s wastewater treatment system.
  4. Floss: Long strands of floss can wrap around other things, creating string balls that can create clogs by collecting more “solids.”
  5. Cotton Swabs: Throw used cotton swabs in the garbage because if flushed they will get jammed in the drain pipe and then act like a little dam, blocking other things from continuing down the drain.
  6. Hair: When you pull those clumps of hair out of your brush, toss them in the trash not in the toilet. Hair does not dissolve and will worsen any little blockage in the drain pipe.
  7. Too much toilet paper: The problem with thicker, multi-ply, plush toilet paper is that it does take a bit longer to dissolve. If you have to use a lot of it, flush a couple of times rather than sending it all down at once.

Summary

If it’s too late now and you know you have flushed some of these things down your toilet, call a plumber for drain cleaning in Colorado Springs if the toilet is not draining properly. If it’s still good, count yourself lucky and stop flushing these things down the drain. Give the team at One Source Home Service a call today if you have more questions about your drains!

What To Do When Drano Doesn’t Work

Plumber's tools on toilet at colorado springs home | colorado springs plumber

It’s a really good idea to have a plunger in the bathroom for the next time the toilet is clogged. It can easily be stored under the sink or in a storage closet. And it is the best and quickest way to clear most clogs from the toilet.

But what if you don’t have a plunger? Maybe you’re at the cottage without a plunger. Maybe your plunger broke and you haven’t hand a chance to get a new one. Is there any hope for clearing a clog?

Hot water

Put on the kettle and pour a full kettle of hot water into the toilet. This works surprisingly well most of the time. It works even better when used in conjunction with a plunger, but will often been effective even without it.

Baking soda and vinegar

You might have heard of the recommendation to use baking soda and vinegar to unclog a sink. This fizzing/dissolving solution can sometimes work for a clogged toilet too. You don’t want to recreate your volcano project from elementary school so be careful with the amount of baking soda and vinegar you combine in the toilet bowl. Start by scooping out a quarter-cup of baking soda into the toilet bowl as close to the drain as possible and then add an equal amount (quarter-cup) of vinegar. The bubbles and fizzing action should drop down to the clog. Depending on the result you see you may want to repeat or try a half-cup. Follow it up by pouring a kettle full of hot water into the bowl.

Even if this doesn’t full clear the clog, if you see improvement repeat the baking soda and vinegar. When it fully works you should hear a quick suction sound and then see the water drain naturally. Follow up with hot water and a couple of flushes to be sure it’s cleared.

What not to do

Many homeowners will run to the grocery store and purchase a bottle of chemicals that are supposedly “guaranteed” to clear the drain. We do not recommend these products as they are harsh chemicals. They are unsafe and may be corrosive to your plumbing or cause damage to older pipes. They may even cause serious injury if they splash on you or on a technician who comes in to clear the clog. Consumers often report that these drain cleaning chemicals fail to clear stubborn clogs. In many cases you’re just pouring your money down the drain with these chemicals.

Don’t ever use baking soda and vinegar before or after using these drain cleaning chemicals. Remember it’s impossible to completely clear out all these different components before trying something different because after all the drain is clogged.

The best solutions…

If the hot water and baking soda, vinegar and hot water methods fails to unclog your toilet, you could always go out and buy yourself a plunger. There are definitely times when a clog is so stubborn that only a professional plumber will be able to clear it completely and quickly. So don’t hesitate to call One Source Home Service for drain cleaning in Colorado Springs if these methods fail to clear the clog.

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